Graffiti: Examining The Creation And Understand Essay

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Graffiti: Examining the creation and understanding of a language, based on a hybrid form of symbolic interactionism between micro and macro levels of society, in New York, USA during the 1960’s to modern day. Mehdi Kermally ID# 500194741 SOC104 section 2 Terry Roswell Introduction Graffiti is centered on a language written and understood by few. These few are classified to be members of a subculture. The reality is that the practice of graffiti exists within overlaps of subcultures.[i] An overlap in a sense that the graffiti culture consists of white, black, really any race of individual and therefore can not be deemed to have derived from a certain racial group.i Through time this overlap has been attempted to be branded, and is most commonly assigned the title of “hip-hop”.ii Literature often portrays graffiti as a practice growing alongside hip-hop thus integrating it as part of the culture. Conveniently, this group is identified with social deviance and crime thus portraying the entire subculture negatively, allowing the means for a societal scapegoat.i This in turn throws a shadow on the individual practices in the subculture such as art and ideologies, more specifically, graffiti writing. Though it is true that some graffiti writers may be criminals, the argument stands whether it is fair to classify all writers as vandals. This conflict itself ironically defines the basis for graffiti.i Objective The purpose of this study is to identify the relativity of graffiti culture to mass culture by detailing aspects of the subculture through the lens of social theory, specifically the theory of social interactionism. This theory states that individuals act towards certain symbols based on the meanings they have associated to those symbols.iii To accomplish this, the roots of graffiti must be outlined along with the pivotal events pertaining to

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